The Head Wrap Rebranded

The Head Wrap Rebranded

If you are an African woman, its for sure that you have once in your life wrapped your head.

Personally i’m not the scarfy type. Because of the heat it generates. But the history behind the head wrap stems from the colonial period and has never been out-moded. But on the contrary it has been re-invented.

How did it all start?

From generation to generation it has remained. It originated from sub-saharan africa. It communicates spirituality, modesty, or a state of mind. Its a basic element in the daily living of the african woman, because whether you like it or not, certain environments demand it.

For some its a constraint, due to the environment  in which you live in, but some women have made it part of their lifestyle to portray their values, identity, culture and more.

Head-wraps finds it meaningful place in religion and culture. Some Christians and Moslems amongst others pay particular detail to this aspect of their service to God. Culture too has kept it rooted in our lives that you can’t be indifferent to it

The scarf etiquette

Most times among the young african folks, wearing a scarf always rhymed with “old woman”,  “housewife”, “househelp”. You are perceived as old-fashioned and of low intellect.

But why should the scarf determine the status of a person? Sometimes i get comments from my mother like ” don’t step outside with that shoe or that shirt, it looks old “, but why should that really matter?

Anyway the good news is 🙂

The re-birth

The re-invention of the head wrap is found in the 1000+ different ways in which its tied, like a crown on a queens head.

If you hate head-wraps, the artistry used in creating the head-wrap would definitely make you fall for it.

It has evolved to the point whereby it is now a lucrative activity. Women have stands in markets, saloon shops were you can pay an amount to get your head wrapped for you in any style. That is for the not-so-creative-hands.

Head wrapping can not be tagged to any specific African ethnic or group. But has different names based on your geographic location.

-Duku : Malawi , Ghana

-Dhuku: Zimbabwe

-Tukwi: Botswana

– Gélé, atcho oké: Nigeria, Benin

But the most important thing to know is that the best thing you can do for yourself is to give value to what you have. Because the little talent you have today can be your most precious asset.



Question : What is your personal view about head wraps? Share with us.


Photo Credits: Gerard Nartey Photography /



Leave a Comment

About It is an online media dedicated to showcase innovations and creativity in every sector in Africa, projects, businesses, initiatives that takes place in the African Industry with a touch of innovation.